Adriana Calcanhotto

Self-confessed daughter and enthusiastic of the modernist tradition and Tropicalismo, Adriana Calcanhotto had already six albums – the latest Cantada, had been released some time ago in Buenos Aires–, but more than a musician, she would rather think of herself as a minimalist performer: a curious “gaúcha” (born in Rio Grande do Sul), devoted to Joao Gilberto, Godard and John Cage, who turns all that she sings into contemporaneous art, just feeling herself at home where everyone else feels uncomfortable: at the edge of all things.

To understand who Adriana Calcanhotto is, music performer born in Porto Alegre in 1965, we could draw an axel through the titles of her six albums: “Enguiço” (Disorder), “Senhas” (Passwords), “A fábrica do poema” (The poem factory), “Maritmo” (poetic game that crosses the words sea and rhythm and, in Portuguese, sounds like maritime), “Público” (as in an audience and as opposed to private) and “Cantada” (past participle of the verb to sing and a chat up). Everything seems to be there: in the error, the disorder, the dualism, the game of words, the constant search for the edge and the outside.
Adriana Calcanhotto sometimes sings the “parangolés” of Helio Oiticica (“with a fabric rectangle single-color, it’s just dancing, it’s just letting the color come over the air”) she sings the sea and the Bahia of Caymmi. She sings her own songs; she sings Madonna and Caetano Veloso, Arnaldo Antunes and Mário de Sá Carneiro, with the naturalness of a generation that has grown – with a lower or greater awareness – under the “tropicalistas” principles, she retakes the heterogeneous baggage that comprises the Brazilian culture, giving it a new look that deliberately indicates its unavoidable contemporaneity.
Only one epithet does not offend Adriana Calcanhotto: minimalism and the conceptual search for simplicity can be perceived through this resigned acceptance.

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